Monday, June 5, 2023

Part II: Long Island, NY - Discover 10+ Great Reasons To Visit the North Shore

By Jacquelin Carnegie
Oheka (photo: Stefen Turner)

While The Hamptons is considered the hotspot, there are so many wonderful areas to explore on Long Island that you can visit time-and-again and still find more cool places to discover. The North Shore of Long Island was home to some of the wealthiest Americas, known as the "Gold Coast." (Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby takes place here.) These are some spots that are definitively-worth seeing:

Cradle of Aviation
51 Charles Lindbergh Blvd, Garden City, NY; Tel: 516/572-4111;
This terrific museum chronicles the history of aviation from hot air balloons to space travel. With over 75 real airplanes and spaceships, plus docents that have flown in war time and/or as commercial pilots, a visit to this museum is truly an inspiring, educational experience. In addition, Long Island’s contribution to aerospace, science, and technology is highlighted.

Long Island Children’s Museum
11 Davis Ave, Garden City, NY; Tel: 516/224-5800;
LICM gives kids hands-on experiences to learn and explore through fun, inventive, interactive exhibits and program
s, including art and theater.

Sagamore Hill National Historic Site
(photo: Courtesy Sagamore Hill)

12 Sagamore Hill Rd, Oyster Bay, NY; Tel: 516/922-4788;
Sagamore Hill was the home of Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States, from 1885 until his death in 1919. During Roosevelt's time in office, it served as the "Summer White House." This magnificent house has 23 rooms, furnished with hunting trophies, gifts from foreign dignitaries, artworks, books, and other electric pieces from the Roosevelts' collection. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, it can be visited on a guided tour. Sagamore Hill sits on 83 beautiful acres that can also be explored.

Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium
180 Little Neck Rd, Centerport, NY; Tel: 631/854-5579;
(photo: Courtesy Vanderbilt Museum)

The Vanderbilts were once the wealthiest family in America. Their fortune came from Cornelius Vanderbilt’s monopoly of the shipping and railroad industries. This magnificent, 43-acre waterfront property was once the home of William K. Vanderbilt II, Cornelius’ great grandson. Now, it‘s part of a museum complex: The Mansion – On a guided tour, visit the stunning, 24-room, Spanish-revival mansion decorated with antique furnishings and art collected during Mr. Vanderbilt’s world travels. The Museum Wings – See the impressive, natural-history items from Vanderbilt’s worldwide, specimen-collecting expeditions. The Planetarium – Exciting programs for education & exploration of the universe.

Washington Spy Trail: During the American Revolutionary War, under the orders of General George Washington, Major Benjamin Tallmadge formed a spy ring based on Long Island: The Culper Ring--farmer Abe Woodhull, pub landlady Anna Strong, and fisherman Caleb Brewster--an unsuspecting group of his friends, worked undercover to oppose the British occupation of New York. If you're a fan of American history, Alexander Rose’s book, Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring, or the TV series, TURN, you’ll be thrilled to visit some of the actual sites on the North Shore such as:
(photo: Courtesy Raynham Hall)

Raynham Hall Museum
20 W Main St, Oyster Bay, NY; Tel: 516/922-6808;
Raynham Hall was the home of Robert Townsend, “Culper Junior,” who as a merchant with a Manhattan-based shipping firm, went to coffee houses and social events in the city, eavesdropping on the British without arousing suspicion.

The Brewster House
18 Runs Rd, East Setauket, NY;

During the American Revolution, Joseph Brewster used the house as a tavern, entertaining British troops. His cousin Caleb Brewster, a frequent visitor and member of the Culper Spy Ring, was an experienced seaman tasked with transporting the intel gathered across the Long Island sound to Connecticut where Tallmadge was stationed.
Some of the famed North Shore “Gold Coast" mansions are now garden-museums:
Planting Fields Arboretum - Coe Hall, a 65-room Tudor Revival mansion, sits on 409 acres of formal gardens & woodland paths.
Coe Hall (photo: Courtesy Planting Fields Arboretum)

Old Westbury Gardens - Westbury House, a 44-room English manor house, has over 200 acres of traditional, formal gardens.
Sands Point Preserve - On the original Guggenheim Estate, there are four mansions: Castlegould; Falaise; Hempstead House; Mille Fleur.

Where To Stay:
The Mansion at Glen Cove (200 Dosoris Lane, Glen Cove, NY; – This 1910 Georgian mansion, now a hotel, has 187 guest rooms & suites, a lovely pool, spa, and 55-manicured acres.
(photo: Courtesy Glen Cove Mansion)

Oheka Castle (135 West Gate Dr, Huntington, NY; – Built in 1919, this magnificent French-style chateau restored to its original grandeur, is now one of the Historic Hotels of America® and on the National Register of Historic Places. If you can’t afford to stay, come for a tour and/or have a delicious meal here.
Getting the Most Out of Your Trip: Discover Long Island – Find accommodations, places to dine & terrific itinerary suggestions.
Getting There: Each one of these places is accessible by train (LIRR) & then a taxi ride, in a succession of day trips. But, if you’d like to visit several places in one trip, it’s more practical by car.

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